February 4 2022

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Causes, Symptoms, And Effective Treatment

PTSD is a chronic mental disorder that can develop in people who have experienced an extraordinary, life- or dignity-threatening situation. About 8% of men and 20% of women who have experienced traumatic events have PTSD.

Doing nothing can ruin your relationship, your job, your health, or even your life.
Under no circumstances should people with PTSD be stigmatized. If this has happened to you, know that you have not gone mad, and you are not alone. PTSD can be overcome or learned to manage.

Experiences leading to PTSD (causes)

  • Victims or witnesses of constant domestic violence
  • Victims of bullying, including at school
  • Children who are neglected by the nearest
  • Women who have experienced traumatic childbirth
  • Victims of sexual and/or physical abuse and violence
  • War veterans
  • Civilians in the war zone
  • Prisoners and victims of torture
  • Witnesses of terrorist attacks
  • People who were in the disaster zone etc.

Symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may appear within a month of a traumatic event, or a few years after. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work life. And they can make it hard to go about your normal daily tasks too.

PTSD symptoms are roughly divided into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time and from person to person.

Intrusive memories

  • Recurrent memories of the traumatic event
  • Flashbacks, reliving the traumatic event
  • Nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional or physical reaction to something that reminds you of the traumatic event

Avoidance

  • Trying to avoid thinking or discussing the traumatic event
  • Avoiding things, places, or people that remind you of the event

Negative changes in thinking and mood

  • Negative thoughts towards yourself, other people, or the world
  • Feeling down and hopeless
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Feeling detached from family and friends
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

  • Being easily frightened
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Self-destructive behavior and habits
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability or aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame

For children 6 years old and younger, signs and symptoms may also include:

  • Re-enacting the traumatic event or aspects of the traumatic event through play
  • Nightmares

Intensity of symptoms

PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You may have more PTSD symptoms when you’re stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through.

When to see a doctor

If you have disturbing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event for more than a month, or if you feel you’re having trouble getting your life back under control, talk to your doctor or mental health professional. Getting treatment as soon as possible helps to prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse. If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide get help immediately – for example, call your local emergency number!

Treatment
Studies show that individual vulnerability or resilience are key factors in the development of PTSD. There are several protocols, and none of them is exhaustive and universal. That is why there is a need for an individual approach to treatment.

Other important factors helping to overcome PTSD:

  • Support group led by a specialist
  • Safe environment (eliminate all triggers)
  • Explanatory work with relatives
  • Public awareness – stigmatization, hate speech, exclusion of such people from society should not be allowed.

The specialists of our anonymous center successfully worked with PTSD for over 18 years. They offer a treatment plan adjusted to your individual needs and it may include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy – to decrease the response to the traumatic trigger and form coping strategies to overcome the situation;
  • Dialectical behavior therapy – to improve stress tolerance, and interpersonal communication
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy –  to teach a patient not to mask emotions and feelings, but to accept them as they are. It is done by developing an “outside view” of the situation. Thus, a patient learns to live “here and now”, rather than “then and there”.  Such a therapeutic approach does not allow one to completely forget the trauma, but mitigates the impact of experiences and improves the quality of life.
  • Controlled and safe use of psychedelic substances such as ibogaine therapy – to restore physiological processes in the body. This therapy changes the level of the mental state significantly and a person gets rid of the problem forever. Because of such effect, this ibogaine therapy is also widely used in the successful treatment of all kinds of addictions.

Typically, your inpatient program will last only 2-3 weeks. But your doctor will stay in touch with you for another 12 months to answer all your questions and support the positive result.

You can get your life back. Book your free consultation with a specialist now.

Category: Mental health
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